Mindfulness by Shirley Anstis

With Mindfulness becoming more common in workplaces, here are some thoughts by Shirley Anstis, Christian Counseller

 

Jon Kabat-Zinn is considered the instigator of bringing mindfulness to western science through establishing the Stress Reduction Clinic for research and practice at University of Massachusetts.

Since these beginnings the evidence to support the effectiveness of mindfulness has been overwhelming. Mindfulness has been recommended by the National Institute of Health and Care Excellence (NICE) as a way to prevent recurring depression.

Kabat- Zinn’s definition is that mindfulness means “paying attention in a particular way: on purpose, in the present moment and non-judgementally.” It is neither Christian nor Buddhist but about how our brain works.

Being more mindful can help us connect more to our compassion, be more courageous and curious. Mindfulness practice helps to develop a beginner’s mind.

Studies have linked regular mindfulness meditation with decrease in anxiety, depression and irritability. It can also help to increase mental and physical stamina, improve quality of relationships and immune functioning.

These half-an-hour sessions offer an opportunity to pause, be more present to your internal and external world, and let go. It is not about acquiring any state. Practicing mindfulness helps to improve clarity and focus. Only an experience will help you to know if it is for you. Try it and see.

P.S. It is not suitable for you if you are in the middle of a deep depression, OCD, anxiety or any psychotic state. That would require one-to-one sessions with a therapist or psychiatrist.